How to get more out of Slack with the slash command

Find out how to be a Slack ninja with slash commands.


Image: Slack

You are a Slack master. Or so you think. After using the service (on either the desktop or the mobile app), you have reached a level of communication and collaboration you’ve never before experienced.

But, there’s always more to be had. Although, to some, Slack might be nothing more than a regular means to send and receive messages or participate in threads, it’s got a lot more to offer than that. How much more is just a slash away.

By slash, of course, I mean the / character.

This is the slash command. When used, it instructs Slack that whatever follows is a command. So as I illustrated in the
How to send direct messages from anywhere in Slack
tutorial, if you type /msg, what follows that will send a direct message to a specific user. This slash command is msg.

There’s much more.

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How to use slash commands in Slack

Every slash command works on both the mobile and desktop versions of the Slack app. As of this writing, there are more than 25 slash commands built in to the Slack app. Although each command functions with a slight variation, they all have one thing in common—they are preceded by the / character. Below is a collection of some of the more useful slash commands and how they are used.

  • /away TIME (where TIME is either an actual or period of time): Toggles your away status.
  • /active TIME (where TIME is either an actual or period of time): Toggles yourself as active.
  • /dnd TIME (where TIME is a description of time): Allows you to start or end a Do Not Disturb session.
  • /invite @USER #CHANNEL (where USER is a username and CHANNEL is the name of a channel): Allows you to invite a user to a channel.
  • /join #CHANNEL (where CHANNEL is the name of a channel): How you join a particular Slack channel.
  • /leave…